Manchester, 29 September 2013

Manchester, 29 September 2013

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Rochdale wants hospitals, jobs and services, not nuclear weapons

More than a hundred people stopped at the Rochdale and Littleborough Peace Group stall on Saturday morning (3 November 2012) to share ideas for spending the £100 billion which the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament calculates would be saved by scrapping the Trident nuclear weapons system.


Rochdale's shoppers showed strong support for the idea of scrapping Trident and had many thoughts about how the money saved could be better spent. 40% suggested increased spending on health; 28% wanted more resources for education and services for children; 19%  wanted better services specifically for older people; 18% suggested increased benefits and pensions;17% wanted jobs and regeneration while 10% sought better services especially for the disabled. 7% advocated increased spending on improving services in general, while others wanted more spending on renewable energy, culture and music, roads, countryside services and MacMillan nurses. One person suggested "Anything that will do people good not harm!"

On behalf of the Peace Group, Philip Gilligan said,

Once again, people in  Rochdale have said very clearly how they would spend the £100billion our country could save by cutting Trident. They know that Trident is a dangerous waste of public money and that a nuclear- free Britain would be £billions better off.  They want their taxes spent on health, education and social care not on deadly and illegal nuclear missiles. They want our country's resources to be spent on the services we need not squandered on nuclear  weapons which threaten nothing but death and destruction. Many were particularly  shocked to hear that Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has recently announced yet more new spending on upgrading the Trident nuclear weapons system, before parliament has even made a decision about whether Trident should ever be renewed. They are right to be shocked. By announcing that they plan to squander another £350,000,000 in addition to the £billions already wasted each year to maintain the Trident system, the government is showing its contempt for both the democratic process and for the thousands of people in Rochdale and elsewhere who are suffering because of cuts in essential services, to benefits and to jobs."

"Our town has now been on the sharp end of cuts in essential local services for several years. We have lost acute inpatient services across the board at the Infirmary, and our Council has been forced to slash tens of £millions from its planned spending on services for some of the most vulnerable groups in our communities. Based on population, Rochdale’s share of the current costs of Britain’s unnecessary nuclear arsenal already amounts to £7million per year, but the staggering cost to Rochdale of so-called ’Trident Replacement’ totals over £300million. This is more than the Council would need to restore and maintain all local services at their previous uncut levels. It is time to tell the government and all those who support retention of any nuclear weapons that we want our taxes spent on decent local services not Trident.”, he added.